Europe 2009: Mile 1303

8th April 2009

OK, We are not in Poland yet. We had to do a bit of re-planning due to unforeseen circumstances.  These were errr basically Isabel & I falling off! What happened was that that we missed a turning and the GPS (yes I am going to blame my tools) took us o a detour on an unpaved road (actually 2 unpaved roads). The first was OK – nice and compact but the second was much much sandier. I tried standing on the up on the pegs (a’la off-road school) and did alright up to about 30 mph which seemed plenty fast for me. Then I came to some deep sand. The bike bucked but came through OK but I was unnerved and I made the mistake of sitting down and closing the throttle. After about 100m I hit some deeper sand. Naturally the bike decided that it needed a rest and went down with me under it. Luckily the panniers kept it from falling completely over. I tried to indicate to Isabel to move on to the field alongside the track which was more compact. She tried to get onto that but there was quite a big ridge to negotiate first. Isabel managed to make it, unfortunately her bike didn’t. So 2 bikes down! Luckily mine was OK with the only damage being to the fuel can holder. Isabel’s bike came off worse. Screen smashed where she went through it and a crack int he fairing around one of the screen screws. Also the Touratech engine bars had touched the fairing in the fall and left a couple of scratches. Not impressed I ust say. Anyway we got the engines back up and went into a petrol station ~2 km away to make repairs. Got the screen off and superglued the fairing. Because of the way the Transalp is built it really needs something just above the front fairing to keep water out of the back of the instruments. So out came the emergency saw and surgery was carried out on the remaining screen to make it safe(r). It fitted the hole but didn’t do much else!

While we were there a very nice German Air Force helicopter pilotstopped and asked if we were OK and told us of a Honda dealership in Schlieben which was about 20 kms away. Apparently he rides a BMW (of course) 1150 GS. After saying goodbye (he didn’t have to stop but did anyway – if that was you then many many thanks) we headed for the dealership to see if they had any screens for the Transalp in stock.

So what is the German for “I have dropped my bike and smashed the screen and was wondering if perchance you had one in stock?” – No we don’t know either! Anyway a very helpful mechanic tried every single screen they had but with no success. They gave us a booklet with all the German Honda dealers. We phoned one that was on the way to Poland but they didn’t have one either. After our hectic morning we decided to get something to eat so we rode off to Doberling-Kirchain.

After riding nervously on some cobbles we found a very nice bakery and cafe where we had some coffee and sandwiches (Ok and some cake to boost our sugar levels). Whilst there Isabel phoned Reading Honda to see if they could ship a screen out to us. Unfortunately they were out of stock but did give us the phone number for Honda Poland – excellent and great service too. Honda Poland were duly contacted and a very helpful guy there gave us the addresses of two Honda dealers in Poznan and phoned to see if they had any in stock and phoned back to say that one of the places could order and fit on Tuesday 21st. Brilliant service! All Isabel had to do is call the dealer and arrange it. So what is the Polish for “I have dropped my bike and smashed the screen etc?” – No we don’t know either!
Luckily they seemed to understand a little bit of English (which is more than I can say for my Polish) and on mentioning the Honda Poland persons name they understood and hopefully a new screen will be waiting on Tuesday at 10am. After that we decided to look for somewhere to stay for the night. After a bit of a ride we found a Pension (Werners Landgasthaus) in Lieskau that had a room. The bikes were parked in an open garage out of site of the main road. The room itself was quite nice and the staff friendly so it was awarded

4 sarges out of 5

We had a beer and did some planning. Hopefully Poland tomorrow but after today who knows? But we can hope!
Lessons Learnt:

  • Don’t miss turnings!
  • Keep speed up on sandy bits

Adrian & Isabel

& Mr Teddy

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